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Electric Light Orchestra - Calling America (single) CD (album) cover


Electric Light Orchestra


Crossover Prog

2.31 | 12 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

1 stars Calling America was a single released off of the Balance of Power album by ELO in 1986. It was the first single by ELO to chart in three years. It peaked at #28 in the UK, #18 in the US, and #47 in Australia. It chiefly seems to be about a woman that went to America "in search of heaven" who left her boyfriend (maybe an acquaintance?) her number to call. He keeps calling but can't get through. Two concepts are considered in the song, that being dishonesty (her leaving of a number that doesn't exist) and technology ("just talking to a satellite"). Truly a song of the times in 1986 (and still applicable today).

It's a bouncy, danceable pop song (cute or "twee" come to mind), kind of reminiscent of the Cars (without the guitar work). Like other similar types of songs, it can be fun (in the sense of clowns) the first listen or two, but quickly becomes monotonous. It's probably one of the better songs off of the Balance of Power album, which of course isn't saying much. The B side is another bouncy number called Caught in a Trap. It is filled with programmed instruments all over the place and very stupid lyrics for a very stupid concept ("Sometimes you get caught in a trap and you don't know it ... sometimes its better to get out while you know it"). It's very much like the other mediocre stuff on the Balance of Power album.

Not a single hint of progressive rock. Only recommended to collectors of obscure pop singles and completionists. One star.

progaardvark | 1/5 |


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